Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Starburst Galaxy NGC 1313

Starburst Galaxy NGC 1313 (5/24/10)
The starburst galaxy NGC 1313 is a stellar incubator delivering stars on a scale rarely seen in a single galaxy of its size. Now a striking new Gemini Observatory image reveals the multitudes of glowing gas clouds in this galaxy’s arms. These colorful clouds are the tell-tale sign of star-formation in this prolific star factory.

Because the clouds of gas in stellar nurseries emit light from ionized gas they shine brightly in very specific colors (or wavelengths) so narrow-band filters were used on the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph on the Gemini South telescope in Chile to capture the colorful galactic lightscape. The unprecedented detail and clarity of the image reveals myriad bubbles, shock fronts, star clusters, and sites where massive stars are being born.




NGC 1313 – click for 1000×747 image


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